Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Justice camp highlights ‘God’s gift of land’

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Murray Macadam

 

Evelyn Day, one of three First Nations participants in the nature conservation immersion group, explains the significance of Medicine Lake as a sacred place of healing for First Nations people. Photo: Margaret Marschall

 


 

“Take a risk—and follow something new.”

That challenge from the Rev. Travis Enright to 75 Anglicans and other Christians gathered in Edmonton encapsulated what a unique event called justice camp is all about. Unlike a traditional conference where participants listen passively to experts, justice camp honours the wisdom everyone brings to the event, and challenges participants to step outside their comfort zone as they learn about key issues facing their society.

Sponsored by the diocese of Edmonton and running until August 21, this year’s gathering focuses on the theme of “land,” where participants learn about issues involving food security, ecology and conservation, and the oil and gas industry, among others. The camp, now in its seventh year, is sponsored by a Canadian diocese as a way to nurture the next generation of social justice activists in the church, to enable them to learn from older justice advocates and to inspire participants of all ages to practise faith-based action for justice.

The camp, which is being held at King’s College, opened with two days of orientation and creative worship, highlighting God’s gift of land and including aboriginal perspectives on creation.

“Everything has spirit in it, because the Creator has blown on it,” native elder Elsie Paul told participants. “Look at what a creator he is! He’s brought us here from different nations.”

Stephen Martin, professor of theology at King’s, outlined the central role that land plays in people’s faith and lives. God’s desire for people to honour the gift of land has become distorted, he said. “Land is not seen as a gift from God, but as a commodity. The land is good, but we have not always been good to the land.”

Later, participants broke into small groups for three days of hands-on learning about issues such as First Nations concerns, homelessness and urban poverty, interfaith relations and other topics. Reflecting the camp’s direct learning approach, a group working on conservation of nature headed for Jasper National Park. Another group travelled to Fort MacMurray to get a firsthand look at the impact of oil sands development and to meet people on both sides of this controversial issue.

The camp attracted participants from across Canada, including young people new to social justice issues as well as seasoned justice advocates. Several First Nations Anglicans also took part, including Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, bishop of Mishamikoweesh, the new indigenous diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada.

“I’ve got a real passion for social justice issues,” said Chris Phro, from the parish of S. James, Kentville,  diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  “I see our church having a huge role in this area.” He expressed the hope that his experience in the food ethics group could strengthen his local efforts to support the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s (PWRDF) campaign for food security. PWRDF is the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Carmen Esau, a member of St. Faith’s Anglican Church, Edmonton was drawn to justice camp because of his interest in the truth and reconciliation process.

With seven Cuban participants and a resident of Nicaragua, this year’s event had a stronger international flavour than previous ones. Cuban participation reflected the Episcopal Church of Cuba Bishop Griselda del Carpio’s vision of encouraging youth leadership in church, said Patrician de la Paz Sarraff, one of the Cuban campers. The Cuban delegation was also here to receive training for a justice camp being planned for Cuba in 2015.

Sarraff said her group was struck by the diversity of cultures they saw in Edmonton. Canada’s respect for diversity reflects the Anglican principle of unity in diversity, she said. Her group also found Alberta’s lush fields of grain impressive, noting that in Cuba, a lot of farmland lies fallow.

The Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle, rector at The Anglican Parish of St. Paul’s, Essex and Trinity, in Cottam, diocese of Huron, was part of the group that visited Fort MacMurray. “It” easy to blame big corporations for ecological damage caused by oil/tarsands mining,” she said. “But the story is far more complex, challenging us to recognize that we too make choices that encourage development, we too participate in this cycle of raping the land.”

Amidst the rugged beauty of Jasper National Park, the nature conservation group saw the struggle between preservation of nature and development in Alberta parks. The group visited a skywalk viewpoint run by a private company at the Columbia Icefield, which some Canadians have criticized for being intrusive and disruptive of the natural environment. 
Participants also saw the impact of climate change—the icefield is much smaller than it was 30 years ago, and continues to shrink.

During a visit to Medicine Lake, Evelyn Day, one of three First Nations members of the group, explained the significance of the lake as a sacred place of healing for First Nations people.

The interfaith relations group attended Sunday worship at St. George’s, Edmonton, which used a liturgy with indigenous elements; worshippers learned about native spiritual traditions from the elders. The group also visited a mosque, as well as a synagogue where a rabbi taught them about Judaism’s understanding of land and the environment.

“Putting everything in the context of land…gives me insights into how we can work together for the environment,” said Elin Goulden, an Anglican social justice staff person from Toronto who also serves as co-ordinator for an Ontario interfaith anti-poverty coalition. “I’m also intrigued by the idea of thoughtfully incorporating indigenous traditions into our Christian practice.”

The justice camp wraps up with worship and the sharing of experiences and ideas for follow-up action.

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Anglican Journal News, August 19, 2014

 

Justice Camp: Land begins in Edmonton

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

Justice Camp: Land meets in Edmonton from August 15 to 21, 2014, and brings together an intergenerational cohort from across the country for up close encounters with social justice issues.

Participants will enjoy seven immersion experiences on topics ranging from the relationship between faith and the oil/tar sands, urban responses to systemic poverty, and interreligious perspectives on land and human life. These are complemented by time for biblical reflection, worship, and relationship building. All of which will foster leadership for social justice skills in participants.

Justice Camp began as a grassroots movement within the Anglican Church of Canada. Over the course of a decade, the camp has moved throughout the country and focused on themes including food justice, poverty, and advocacy.

The focus on land is drawn from two sources of wisdom. Judeo-Christian scriptures show a strong connection between land, spirituality, and community. Similarly, wisdom about the deep connection between land and life is found in the spiritual traditions of Aboriginal cultures. Justice Camp seeks to listen to these sacred teachings anew and reflect on what they have to say about life in community in balance with the land and one another.

To find out more about Justice Camp, visit www.justicecamp.ca. You are also welcome to follow Justice Camp on Facebook and by searching for the #justicecamp hashtag on both Facebook and Twitter.

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, August 15, 2014

First Slavey Anglican priest mourned

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

The Rev. Georgina Bassett was “a powerhouse for God.”  Photo: Debra Gill

 

The community of Hay River, N.W.T., is mourning the loss of the Rev. Georgina Bassett, who was ordained in 2012, becoming the first Anglican priest of Slavey descent in the Anglican Church of Canada. She died on July 8 of breast cancer at the age of 58.

Bassett was a member of the K’atlodeeche First Nation. The Slavey are Dene people of the MacKenzie River basin.

The Rev. Vivian Smith, priest at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Hay River, knew Bassett for 12 years and witnessed the growth of her commitment to the church.

Smith first came to Hay River as a lay minister. At that time, she said, Bassett had already rekindled her childhood connection to the church through an Alpha course. “That was what started her out wondering what life is about, what she wanted to do and how she could do it,” Smith said. When Bassett learned that the church wanted more lay ministers, she asked Smith about it but was also asking, “What would people say about an Indian being a lay minister?” Smith says she assured Bassett that “God takes anyone who is willing to carry the gospel.” From that day on, she said, Bassett wanted to pursue lay ministry.

Later, Bassett decided she wanted to be a deacon; she was ordained one in 2009. “She was a powerhouse for God,” said Smith. She told her personal story to everyone… how she met Christ and how he became part of her life.”

Bassett was ordained as a priest in 2012. She also devoted herself to running the Anglican-affiliated Hay River Thrift Shop, which sells gently used clothing and other household items. “She spent hours and hours and hours at that thrift shop, even when she was sick, even when she was taking her treatment,” said Smith.

Smith said she would like to see it renamed Georgina’s Place, in honour of her friend, who was named Hay River’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for the many ways she served the community. Smith promised Bassett that she would reorganize the thrift shop once Bassett’s illness made it impossible for her to continue her work there.

“I went to the businesses in town and they are giving us the paint,” said Smith. “Volunteers are going in to paint it, we’re putting in all new carpet and we’re going to have a grand opening on Georgina’s birthday, Sept. 28. She said she’ll be looking down [on us] that day.”

Smith said Bassett also dreamed of reopening the Anglican church on the local reserve, which had fallen out of use and then was wrecked by ice several years ago.

Bassett was co-owner of Bassett Petroleum with her husband, Steve Bassett, who survives her, along with their four sons and daughters-in-laws and seven grandchildren.

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Anglican Journal News, August 8, 2014

The making of Mishamikoweesh

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

Children and youth gathered last June at Kingfisher Lake in northern Ontario to celebrate the creation of the Anglican Church of Canada’s first indigenous diocese.  Photo: Anglican Video

 


 

Anglican Video is producing a documentary on the creation of the Spiritual Indigenous Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, the first indigenous diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Lisa Barry, Anglican Video senior producer, says the documentary—which will be available in 2015—explains the genesis and evolution of the new diocese, beginning with the dream of pioneering aboriginal priest the Rev. William Winter. “This diocese was William Winter’s dream,” says Barry. “It began to be articulated at the first Sacred Circle in 1989 and it has come to fruition in the installation of Bishop Lydia [Mamakwa].”  Mamakwa’s installation and the celebration of the new diocese took place in the first week of June at Kingfisher Lake in northern Ontario.

Footage of the celebration and interviews with Mamakwa and other people in the community have already been posted on the church’s website, but the documentary is intended to provide the historical context documented by Anglican Video.

“It’s been such a privilege…to film every Sacred Circle,” says Barry, explaining that the first Sacred Circle in 1989 was the first time Anglican aboriginal clergy from across the country gathered. Barry added that it has also been a privilege to witness the changes in what was voiced in those gatherings. “What you saw at the first Sacred Circle [was] a glimmer of hope and a lot of pain…And in 1994, it was just like a river or a sea of pain, with the people sharing about residential schools and the apology,” she said. “And then it became about rebuilding. And Lydia’s installation was a… glorious moment, to see the tremendous pride and hope and just grace that was visited upon that event.” Anglican Video filmed the new diocese’s first Sacred Circle, which will be its governing body, functioning like a synod, as well as the week’s celebrations, which included evening gospel music jamborees.

Barry says she hopes the documentary will be useful when Mamakwa tells the story of Mishamikoweesh in communities and also for helping all Anglicans understand the purpose and meaning of this new indigenous diocese, especially the fact that it is not a movement to separate from the church but to create an indigenous diocese within the church. “That was what was stressed over and over again,” said Barry, explaining that the message was, “We are walking together…We are not leaving you. We are walking with you as equal partners.”

Barry said the documentary marks both an end and a beginning. “It is the fruition of this dream, but now the work is ahead.”

But Barry said the stories she has heard from people in the community indicate that Mamakwa is well equipped to lead them through new challenges. She recounted the story of one young woman who said that Mamakwa had cared for her at a time when she was despondent about the suicides of friends, inviting her to be involved and help in the church with other youth. She told Barry that many people have such stories of Mamakwa personally inviting them, watching over them, encouraging them and trying to help them to heal. “I heard so many stories like that. I think what a tremendous testament to Lydia as a leader—in her quiet way, saving her community and saving young people,” said Barry.

The video, when finished, will be available online on the church’s website and from Anglican Video.

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Anglican Journal News, August 6, 2014

 

 

Anglican Foundation head to receive honorary doctorate

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Diana Swift

 

The Rev. Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Anglican Foundation of Canada. Photo: Saskia Rowley

 


 

An honorary Doctor of Divinity degree will be conferred on The Rev. Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Anglican Foundation of Canada, at the November convocation of Queen’s College. Queen’s is the Anglican theological college on the campus of Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld.

 

“I am honoured to be chosen for this distinction by such a venerable institution with such deep roots in Canadian Anglicanism,” said Rois, who completed a doctorate in homiletics at the University of Chicago in 2006.

Since its founding in 1841, the college has prepared people for ordained and lay leadership in the tradition of the Anglican Communion and other Christian traditions.

In choosing Rois, the college and the three sponsoring Anglican dioceses in Newfoundland and Labrador noted that they have “benefited greatly from the commitment and partnership that the Anglican Foundation has continually provided to our theological colleges and dioceses. “

They also acknowledged Rois’s successful efforts at rebranding the foundation and implementing programs to “empower the powerless,” such as the Hope Bear and Kids Helping Kids campaigns. “In your distinguished ministry you have constantly been a trailblazer for new and innovative programs, which have furthered the goals, aims and  directions of the Anglican Church of Canada,” wrote the Rev. Dr. Alex Faseruk, Queen’s provost.

The Anglican Foundation is a funding agency that provides resources for innovative ministries, supporting Anglican presence and infrastructure improvements.

“I am humbled at being selected by Queen’s for this honour, and I hope that the foundation’s partnership with the Anglican Church in Canada’s eastern-most dioceses will be a long and fruitful one,” said Rois, who joined the foundation as executive director in January 2011.

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Anglican Journal News, August 14, 2014

Vianney (Sam) Carriere, 1947–2014

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Diana Swift

 


 Vianney (Sam) Carriere was the consummate writer, editor and photographer. Photo: General Synod Archives

 


 

Sam Carriere, the Anglican Church of Canada’s director of communications and information resources, and its director of resources for mission, died peacefully at his home in Toronto on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. He was 67.

A graduate of Toronto’s York University, Carriere first joined the Anglican Journal in 1990 as news editor, bringing to the paper the experience of many years in national newspaper journalism. Ten years later he became Journal editor and two years later, General Synod’s director of communications and information resources. In 2010 Carriere was also appointed interim director of philanthropy and in 2013 became director of resources for mission, while retaining the position of director of communications and information resources.  

Carriere was also editor of MinistryMATTERS, a quarterly magazine for Canadian Anglican leaders.

He was known for his leadership skills and his willingness to take on any task. “For the General Synod meeting in Halifax in 2010, Sam stepped into the breach and served as acting general secretary. It was one of the best-run synods we ever had,” said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

At first glance, Carriere’s outward persona could be deceptively brusque. “Sam had that gruff exterior, but when you got him to sit down and talk, you got way beyond the exterior to an incredibly kind and giving person who always wanted the very best out of you,” said Feheley. “Sam’s gift to me was pulling out my very best.”

After he fell ill late last year, General Synod staff produced the book Dear Sam in tribute and thanks to his long and multifaceted service to the church and illustrated it with his breathtaking photographs.  

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, wrote that one of his favourite images of Carriere was at Geneva Park, where the management team of General Synod held retreats in the last several years. “The sun has  just come up and the grass is still heavy with dew. I see you roaming the  property. You walk some and you stop. Something catches your eye and up  comes the camera. There are a few seconds of absolute stillness and then with one quick click  you capture forever the beauty you beheld. You have an eye not only for marvels of nature, but also for those graces by which God enriches  our lives,” said Hiltz. 

“…You’re Barnabas, an icon of encouragement. When you see a gift in someone, you say so, and the encouragement begins. You create opportunities to exercise and develop the gift, and the encouragement continues, ” wrote Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary and acting director of communications. 

Before joining the national church, Carriere served for 22 years as a writer and editor at the
Globe and Mail and its “Report on Business,” teaching journalism at Toronto’s Ryerson Polytechnic University as well.

Carriere was also known for his teaching skills. “Sam was the consummate professional journalist and he taught me much of what I know about writing and editing,” said former Journal editor Leanne Larmondin, who worked with Carriere for 15 years. “He also had a huge capacity for generosity, both in his time and his creativity. Even when we disagreed, and we often did, he respected my choices and decisions with a grace that often left me speechless.”

Echoing Larmondin John Sewell, former mayor of Toronto who wrote a daily column on municipal politics under Carriere’s editorship at the Globe in the1980s, said: “Sam was an excellent editor, always trying to improve, not change, what I was trying to say. He gave me great confidence in my transition from being a civic politician to a civic journalist.” 

Carriere was “a poet, in his words and in his pictures,” said Solange De Santis, former staff writer for the Journal and former editor of Ecumenical News International.

Like many good teachers, Carriere was unassumingly unaware of the impact he had on other’s development. “When I exchanged emails with him four or five months ago, he seemed surprised to realize how important his approach was for a writer, but that was Sam, very modest and restrained,” said Sewell.

A man of broad-ranging interests and abilities, Carriere was also a skilled and passionate photographer, whose work can be viewed here.

Carriere is survived by his wife, Linda Doohoo, a retired nurse manager and director of care for Toronto Homes for the aged.

A memorial service will be held in the Chapel of the Apostles at the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada in early September. Details are still being finalized.

To read tributes to Carriere from the many who knew Carriere,  click here.

 

Some of the comments in Dear Sam:

“I have learned so much from Sam, for which I will be eternally grateful. I love his unique and pointed insights, his joyous sense of humour, his guidance and advice, the twinkle in his eyes as he tried to get a reaction out of me— but most of all, I am grateful that he reminded me to focus on what is truly important and not forget to see the beauty that exists in my everyday life. – Bev Murphy, senior manager, Communications and Information Resources

“When  I think about Sam, I think of a gentle man, a bit enigmatic, a bit shy, a man with an enormous range of interests and a keen sense  of history. Most of all, I think of someone focused on the pursuit of  excellence in a craft. In much of his life, as this book gives modest evidence, the craft has been  photojournalism—a photojournalism less concerned with the momentary  event and more with the deep meaning of the lives involved in the event.  And for a much longer period, the craft has been writing. I know something  about this craft as a practitioner, mostly as someone who looks at others  and wishes I could do as well. Sam is one of those others.” Doug Tindall, former director of communications, Anglican Church of Canada 

“Sam’s vision of both the media and the world have had a broad and deep influence on the way the Anglican Church of Canada sees the world and the way the world sees the Anglican Church of Canada.” — Bishop Mark MacDonald, national indigenous bishop

“As a military man, I have always appreciated Sam’s penchant for rising early, and his straightforward, no-nonsense approach…His sincerity, devotion and skill have made him a deeply valued member of our many teams…” — Brig-Gen. John Fletcher, chaplain general to the Canadian Armed Forces

Without your generous support and encouragement (and inspiration!)  I may never have discovered and explored my love for photography.  I see it as one of those things that keep me sane, balanced.  Thank you for sharing this gift of yours with me.Brian Bukowski, web manager, General Synod Communications

“You were terrific at seeing potential in your team, identifying skills and providing opportunities for growth.” — Shannon Cottrell, coordinator of resource development

“He moved Anglican communications away from the inward-looking “We all get along because we know each other” stance to an engagement with the world at a steady pace.” — Terry Reilly, General synod archivist, 1979-2003

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Anglican Journal News, August 11, 2014

Welby calls for end to Gaza violence

Posted on: July 31st, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Anglican Journal staff

 

“For all sides to persist with their current strategy, be it threatening security by the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian areas or aerial bombing which increasingly fails to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, is self-defeating,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wrote.  Photo: ACNS

 


The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is calling for leaders in Israel and Gaza to immediately end the violence and seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.

 

“You can’t look at the pictures coming from Gaza and Israel without your heart breaking. We must cry to God and beat down the doors of heaven and pray for peace and justice and security,” his statement began.

Welby, who worked in conflict resolution and peace-building in war-torn areas before becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury, called for an “open-hearted seeking of peace” on both sides for the sake of protecting innocent people from worsening violence. “For all sides to persist with their current strategy, be it threatening security by the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian areas or aerial bombing which increasingly fails to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, is self-defeating. The bombing of civilian areas, and their use to shelter rocket launches, are both breaches of age-old customs for the conduct of war,” he wrote.

“Further political impasse, acts of terror, economic blockades or sanctions and clashes over land and settlements, all increase the alienation of those affected,” he continued. “Populations condemned to hopelessness or living under fear will be violent. Such actions create more conflict, more deaths and will in the end lead to an even greater disaster than the one being faced today. The road to reconciliation is hard, but ultimately the only route to security. It is the responsibility of all leaders to protect the innocent, not only in the conduct of war but in setting the circumstances for a just and sustainable peace.”

Welby called on Anglicans in England and throughout the global Anglican Communion to pray for the people in the region and to support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s emergency appeal and humanitarian relief efforts.

He also addressed the issue of a spike in violence and abuse against Jewish communities in the U.K. “While it is acceptable to question and even disagree with particular policies of the Israeli government, the spike in violence and abuse against Jewish communities here in the UK is simply unacceptable. We must not allow such hostility to disrupt the good relations we cherish among people of all faiths.”

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Anglican Journal News, July 31, 2014

 

Youth ministry undergoes colourful, online transformation in Moosonee

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

The 22 parishes of the Diocese of Moosonee are spread out across 560,000 square kilometers in northern Ontario and Quebec. This expanse—second only to the Diocese of the Arctic in area—presents unique challenges for growing and strengthening youth ministry.

With support from Anglicans across Canada through Gifts for Mission, combined with the hard work and creativity of an experienced youth ministry practitioner, youth ministry in Moosonee is getting a colourful and contemporary makeover.

Since January 2014, the Rev. Lisa BrantFrancis has been revitalizing ministry for children and youth through tools designed to respond to the challenges of distance, sparse population, and the particular multilingual and multicultural diversity found in the diocese.

In her role as a resource person for the whole diocese, BrantFrancis seeks to understand and meet the distinctive needs of each of the churches she serves. Some communities have very small Sunday schools or youth groups. Other communities have a lot of children, but few volunteers so “outreach is to try to inspire people to volunteer and to support those who are perhaps overburdened by many, many responsibilities,” BrantFrancis notes.

BrantFrancis carries out most of her work remotely through digital means. One way she’s overcoming barriers of distance is through the creation and facilitation of an online sharing circle for congregations who host a Messy Church programme, which is an alternative form of worship that focusses on intergenerational and hands-on participation. She notes that there has been some energy around the online group, but that it will hopefully grow into a community where members increasingly support each other.

The social media savvy BrantFrancis also leverages popular sharing tool Pinterest in support of her youth ministry initiatives. She takes advantage of Pinterest’s attractive and user-friendly interface to organize ideas for crafts and activities, children’s ministry books, and so on. In sorting her research and resources in this way she is making it very easy for youth ministry practitioners to access and find the resources they need with just a few clicks.

A major element of renewing these ministries in the Diocese of Moosonee is the creation and distribution of a diocesan wide newsletter. The newsletter’s bright and cheerful pages are filled with customized information and resources to enliven children and youth ministry in this northern context.

Past newsletters have included resources on suicide prevention for Indigenous communities, countdown checklists for vacation bible school, notices for upcoming gatherings for youth and young adults, crafts and activities to accompany Messy Church worship, prayers that are easy for children to remember, and suggestions for print resources and curriculum to enliven youth ministry.

BrantFrancis also includes some conventional ministry tools in her repertoire. She relies on the simple phone call and pastoral visit as much as anyone else, and also likes to attend parish events and maintain a basic website for her ministry.

With more than twenty years experience, BrantFrancis was a natural fit for this new ministry. “Children’s ministry is something I’ve always been busy doing,” she says, “I have always enjoyed ministry to children, and I just keep exploring and finding new things to try and reach out to the little ones.”

Looking forward, BrantFrancis hopes to set up a fresh website for her ministry that could be better integrated with the diocesan website. She would also like to do more work in encouraging people to use the resources made available in the newsletter. Keeping with a strong relational approach to her ministry, BrantFrancis is also eager to hear more from the people she serves, “What more do you need? How are you using the resources?”

While the focus of her ministry is foremost on children and youth, BrantFrancis also takes a broader view. “It is important to provide intergenerational activities that we can do together as a community.”

Ultimately her work is about building relationship and connecting Anglican children and youth ministry practitioners throughout the Diocese of Moosonee. “There is so much out there, if we can just connect one another to it we can inspire one another quicker and the ideas the will just flow along.”

The Diocese of Moosonee is one of nine dioceses that make up the Council of the North. They work together to share information about and respond to the unique challenges faced by smaller ministries in the north, and to provide pastoral and sacramental ministry throughout this region.

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, July 28, 2014

 

Interfaith youth defy violence in Jerusalem

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

 

By Diana Swift

 

 

Young Christian, Jewish and Muslim youth from Kids4Peace break bread together for peace in Israel and Palestine.

 


 

As violence continues to rage in the Holy Land and senior world diplomats fail in their efforts to broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, a committed group of young people is making a stand for peace.

On July 9, on the 11th night of Ramadan, some brave young Jerusalemites attended an unusual iftar—the traditional sundown meal that each evening breaks the daytime fast of devout Muslims during the holy month.

The courageous youngsters ventured forth from their bomb shelters and their Christian, Jewish and Muslim homes to share a meal in interfaith community in defiance of the surge of violence in Israel and Gaza. “Yes, many of us were terrified. Some community members and even staff sent messages of love and support but were too afraid to join,” blogged merk4p the following day. “We lent each other our ears, our shoulders and our hearts. We feel that now more than ever we have to take a stance against violence, and this interfaith iftar was just the beginning.”

The young Palestinian and Israeli diners are members of Kids4Peace, a global interfaith movement for young people and their families founded in Jerusalem in 2001. Its mission is to build hopeful interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower people for change and conflict resolution. K4P Jerusalem serves more than 400 youth and their families in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In the last few moments before sunset, when the supper would begin, members from all three religions stood and offered a prayer over the food. “All who attended felt like family and broke the fast together,” merk4p the blogger wrote.

Udi, the chair of the organization’s steering committee and a teacher, compared the current violence to a kindergarten. “He asked everyone to imagine what would happen if one of the kids came to him and said, ‘So-and-so ruined my drawing, and his reply would be, ‘Well then, go on and ruin everyone else’s drawing, too,’ ”the blogger recalled. “This,” he pointed out, “is the extremism in our societies. They are trying to destroy everything, but here we are, coming together despite it all, making a stance against violence.”

Comments from those who attended included this one from Eden, a ninth-grade Muslim girl: “I came to prove to others that it is possible to be around people from the other side.” Added Christian ninth-grader Carla, “I came to show that other than all the fighting between Arabs and Jews, there is still a way here to show peace and love.” Aviya, a Jewish girl in Grade 7, said: “The war is making us all divide up and be on separate sides. It just makes me want to come even more to settle things down.”

The brave gesture of solidarity in conflict resonated in other parts of the world. From a farm in Canada, Shawn, a Christian, wrote: “Friends, we prayed for you all, and for peace in your land, under the light of the full moon last night…Keep strong, for peace.”

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Anglican Journal News, July 25, 2014

Caring in the midst of Gaza turmoil

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

 

Palestinian families take shelter in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school. Photo: Sharef Sharhan/UNWRA Archives

 


On July 18, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City got the kind of automated phone call many people in the city have been getting from the Israel Defense Forces. It warned of likely military action in the vicinity and advised the people there to evacuate immediately to a different part of the city.

Canon John Organ, a Canadian who is serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem as chaplain to Bishop Suheil Dawani, described the dire situation in Gaza and at the hospital in an interview with the Anglican Journal late that day. The interview was briefly interrupted by warning sirens going off in Jerusalem, where Organ is based.

A short time later the interview resumed.

“So a number of people didn’t come in, but as [hospital director] Suheila [Tarazi] said, ‘Where are we to go? And how can we possibly go?’ ” As of that evening, Organ said, “I have not heard anything, and I would have heard, if something terrible had happened. But they are the midst of the conflict.”

The hospital has not been hit by the airstrikes so far, but Organ said it sustained some damage from bombing nearby. “The tremors from it, because everything’s made of stone, caused some major cracking and then some collapsing of roofing in around the surgical theatre, the operation room, and there’s been some structural damage.”

The situation escalated over the weekend with the Palestinian death toll rising to more than 500, including about 100 children; 3,000 others were injured. Two Israeli civilians and 25 soldiers have been killed since IDF ground operations began last week, according to Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz.

“We’re involved on strictly a humanitarian basis. We’re caring for people in need, and we do that through health care, especially in Gaza—that’s our primary ministry there,” said Organ, explaining the mandate of the hospital, which is run by the diocese. “We serve the poorest of the poor and right now our hospital has 14 physically traumatized patients. There are several children, but two children have had their entire family killed and they are with us now.” Organ said from the photos those orphans are about seven or eight years old. Organ and Dawani speak with the director daily to get updates on the situation in the hospital.

Organ also spoke of the challenges for the hospital, which he said has been running on a “skeleton budget,” since it lost funding that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees had provided for decades. “We don’t know exactly what happened, but it was stopped about this time two years ago,” he said. Since the end of 2012, there has been no major sponsor and the hospital has run on individual contributions, but it cannot provide the care it once did, he said.

In response to the current crisis, Organ said the hospital has “geared back up,” bringing two former surgeons and five nurses on contract because the patients they are now caring for are “going to need two or three months of very intensive medical care,…[the director] had to have continuity of care for them for the long-term.”

One of the strengths of the hospital is a burn facility unit that was created a couple of years ago, Organ said. It is equipped with special pools for burn patients to be immersed in a solution that advances the healing. That’s fortunate, he says, because fires caused by the bombing have meant that there are many patients in need of that treatment.

One other challenge the diocese and hospital are trying to meet is feeding people.

“A lot of people come to the gate and seek food from the hospital, so they are feeding hundreds of people,” Organ said. The hospital also follows a typical custom of hospitality of feeding the families of patients, who often stay at their loved one’s bedside around the clock. “So with 14 in-patients, that means a lot of extra people are being supported there as well,” he said.

He echoed the official statement from the diocese and heads of churches calling for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks.

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has issued an initial grant of $25,000  and an appeal for donations for the Al Ahli hospital.

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Anglican Journal News, July 21, 2014